Bulletin for Sunday 08/07/2011
I am committed to the restoration principle. To return to New Testament Christianity. To recognize that Jesus Christ established His church and there is no other. That Christ is the head of the church and Savior of the body. To be just a Christian and member of His one body. To have no creed but Christ. To only believe what the Bible teaches and let it be our only religious authority. To do only what Christ and His apostles have instructed. “To speak where the Bible speaks, and be silent where the Bible is silent.” These are matters I believe with all my heart.
Friends, is that not an attractive plea to anyone willing to accept Christ as Lord? All recent studies indicate denominational loyalties, like brand loyalties in retail commerce, are at their lowest levels. That should not be alarming to us. It should be recognized as a grand opportunity. We in churches of Christ have an emphasis that is unique and fresh to the religious world.
Now, while I believe with all my heart that undenominational Christianity in regard to structural organization and fundamental doctrinal details for the church can be and has been restored in our day (i.e., believers immersion for remission of sins, weekly observance of the Lord’s Supper’s, elders and deacons, a cappella music, the distinction between the covenants, male leadership in worship, etc.). Yet at the same time restoration is a continuing process in the sense that it will always be needed for each new generation and to the extent men depart from the New Testament pattern. In addition to personal Christian growth and maturity, there are other important areas of our faith that we must observe to get the composite picture of the New Testament church, must be fully restored.
To challenge and encourage us towards this kind of thinking, below is another excellent thought provoking guest article pertaining to the subject of the restoration principle and the Lord’s church. It is written by Jonathan Jones who is the pulpit minister for the Maryville Church of Christ in Maryville, TN. This is the congregation where Dan Chambers previously served as the preacher (Dan recently held our spring Gospel Meeting). Jonathan has written for various periodicals including Think magazine and the Gospel Advocate.
The Continuing Restoration
During his ministry, Jesus promised to build his church (Matthew 16:18). His church would be a single, unified, worldwide body of his disciples (Ephesians 1:22-23; 4:4). This church would be united together upon the apostles’ doctrine that was once for all delivered to the saints (Acts 2:42; Jude 3). Yet, the Holy Spirit revealed that in latter times people would fall away from this simple teaching and would turn aside to myths (1 Timothy 4:1-5; 2 Timothy 4:1-5). Historically this occurred with the advent of a state controlled, Roman church. Many strange teachings foreign to the New Testament infiltrated the church during this “Dark Age.” However, courageous leaders arose to protest these heresies during the Protestant Reformation. The unintended result, however, was an aggressive splintering of the church into a multiplicity of denominations as each reformer focused on certain doctrines. Such division of the church was contrary to Jesus’ prayer for unity and a clear violation of Scripture’s teaching (John 17; 1 Cor. 1:10-17).
Preachers from various Christian denominations (Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians, etc.) began to realize that something must be done to stop this rampant division and unify Christ’s followers. They realized that the only way unity would be possible would be for people to reject denominational allegiances. They must cast aside all creeds, and withdraw from church synods and conventions. Christians can be united only when they simply call themselves “Christians” and agree to only follow the Bible as a guide for faith and practice. This concept is called the ‘Restoration Movement.”
Returning only to the Bible, many practices of the New Testament church’s from the plan of salvation, leadership, and worship were restored. But God’s people must not relax in past victories. We must see ourselves as a part of God’s ongoing story. There is still work to be done in the continuing restoration of the New Testament church in our time. Here are some areas where we must continue to work toward restoration:
1. Reject the cathedral and restore the people! The church must not be simply a group that assemblies in a place of brick and mortar to receive additional teaching. But God desires that people not just know about Him, but that they also walk personally with Him. Early Christians were people who lived in passionate devotion to Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18). The early church devoted themselves to the Lord (Acts 2:42). We must reject being just another religious gathering and become an authentic community of faith.
2. Reject the commuters and restore the community: Church is too often considered a place rather than a people of God living in a community together. The church is viewed as a place you go rather than who you are. Imagine a church where Christians are not merely spectators, but a people who live in a vibrant community with one another (Acts 2:46; 4:32). Christians practice the “one another’s” of Scripture (Colossians 3:13-14). Disciples share spiritual fellowship and help each other overcome personal sin (James 5:16).
3. Reject the member-mentality and restore the minister-mentality! Church is often viewed as a place to meet rather than a fellowship for equipping God’s servants for works of service. The result is a church building full of spectators who have become “members” but are not actively involved in any ministry. The New Testament teaches all Christians are to be ministering to one another. Christians are to be nurtured into becoming Christ-formed, Spirit-led participants in the kingdom of God. Leaders are not to be doing the entire ministry, but equipping others to do the ministry (Ephesians 4:12-16).
4. Reject the church campus and restore church in the home! The church today tends to focus all Christian fellowship, teaching, evangelism, benevolence, and worship inside the confines of a church building or ministry campus. The result is that we compartmentalize our faith to a church building. The early church certainly did meet in centralized locations (like the Temple courts), but their interaction with each other was not limited there (Acts 2:46). The early church met regularly in one another’s homes for fellowship (Acts 2:46), for instruction and evangelism (Acts 10:24), to help others (Hebrews 13:2), and for prayer and devotion (Acts 12:12). They were actively involved in one another’s daily lives.
May we continue to defend the doctrines and practices of the New Testament church that have been restored, but may we also be committed to the continuing efforts of restoration!
--Jonathan Jones, Maryville Church of Christ, TN
Sermons for Sunday
AM Ephphatha! (Mark 7:31-37)
PM Behind the (Church) Music
This Sunday morning an adult class will begin meeting in the fellowship room with a study of ‘The Prison Epistles’, beginning with the book of Ephesians. This will be a discussion class led by Chuck Carter. Everyone is welcome.
Phil Collins has moved to 4 Sequoyah, Shawnee, 74801. Please make this correction in your membership directory.
We congratulate Sue Merritt on the birth of her great granddaughter born to Beau and Lois Carter on July 28, 2011. Lydia Grace Marie Carter weighed seven pounds six ounces and was 19 inches long. She has a ‘big brother’ Blake. Jon Merritt is the uncle.
To the best of our knowledge, there are no Central members in the hospital at this time.
The Michener’s have requested prayers for Jennifer’s brother, Aaron Corum, who is having severe eye problems.
It was good to have Yuavonda Weeks in services Sunday morning.
Dear Central Family, I would like to thank everyone who so kindly gave me graduation gifts. They were greatly appreciated. I’m sorry it has taken this long to acknowledge you and I am working on thanking each one of you.
COMING YOUTH EVENTS
August 8, Monday: AWTG @ Eastside in Midwest City. Leaving the building at 6 p.m.
August 12, Friday: ‘Back to School Bash’ at Northridge. Meet at Northridge @ 6 p.m.
August 7, Search: “Raising Faithful Children”
August 14, Search: “Keeping Teens Faithful”
August 21, Search: “Loving But Firm”
August 28, Search: “When Children Fall”
CENTRAL MEMBERS & FRIENDS
IN NURSING HOMES
GOLDEN RULE HOME
38801 Hardesty Rd, Shawnee, OK 74801
Nadine Magee, #31
SHAWNEE COLONIAL ESTATES
535 W. Federal, Shawnee, OK 74804
Ruth Autry, #81
Harold Decker, #110
John Johnston, #116
ROSE MANOR CARE CENTER
1610 N. Bryan, Shawnee, OK 74804
Fred Bowers, #214
Herman Guin, #514
Polly Reese, #402
SHAWNEE CARE CENTER
1202 W. Gilmore, Shawnee, OK 74804
Harold Carothers, #511
Sue Riedel, #602
201 W. Walnut (P. O. Box 630)
Tecumseh, OK 74873
Rachel O’Neal, #7A
Alice Rice, #55
Dessie Weeks, #54
Hope to see you here Sunday!
LAST WEEKS RECORD
Bible School 125
Worship Service 194
Sunday Evening 132
Wednesday Evening 100
SERVING THE CONGREGATION
Sunday, August 7, 2011
Announcements: Dale Beard
Opening Prayer: Richard Albright
Song Director: Dwyane Dennis
Scripture: Wade Baskin
Sermon: Robert Prater
Closing Prayer: Ron Dunavan
SERVING AT THE LORD’S TABLE
Scott Perry Craig McKnight
Lynn Harmon Keith Lawrence
AT THE BACK OF AUDITORIUM
Burl Vanlandingham Nathan Kelly
Steve Kelly Tim McGalliard
Foyer: Steve & Mary Kelly
Elevator: Tim & Janice McGalliard
ASSISTING OUTSIDE ELEVATOR DOOR
EVENING WORSHIP SERVICE
Opening Prayer: Michael Michener
Song Director: Dwyane Dennis
Sermon: Robert Prater
Closing Prayer: Clavin Norwood
AT THE LORD’S TABLE
Jim Carpenter Jim Cross
WEDNESDAY NIGHT SERVICE
Classes for all ages
Devotional: Kenton McGalliard
Song Director: Nathan Kelly
If unable to serve this week, notify
Frank Romberg – 273-1297